Tornadoes, huge hail pound the Midwest, but bring little Texas drought relief

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:41 PM GMT on April 20, 2011

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Severe weather blasted the Midwest again yesterday, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logging 32 reports of tornadoes, 399 reports of damaging thunderstorm winds, and 325 instances of large hail (including softball-sized hail of 4.25 - 4.5" diameter in Clarkesville, MO and Stringtown, OK.) Fortunately, no deaths or injuries were reported from yesterday's storms. The storm also brought the heaviest snow so late in the season to Green Bay, Wisconsin--9.9 inches. This brought the seasonal total for Green Bay to 92.4", the third most on record.

The storm responsible will trek eastwards today, bringing the threat of severe weather to regions of the Southeast hard-hit by last week's remarkable tornado outbreak. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed a wide swath of the country from Eastern Texas to New Jersey under their "slight risk" for severe weather. According to the latest tornado tallies on the excellent Wikipedia page on the April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak, 128 tornadoes are confirmed to have occurred, with 39 of these strong EF-2 and EF-3 twisters. Remarkably, there have been no violent EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes reported yet in 2011, despite the fact that the preliminary 2011 tornado count as compiled by SPC is 611, which will likely make 2011 the most active tornado season on record for this point in the year.


Figure 1. Satellite image taken at 8pm EDT on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, of the storm system that brought severe weather to the Midwest. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.


Figure 2. Severe weather outlook for today.

Yesterday's storms bring little drought relief for Texas
Yesterday's severe weather outbreak brought a few thunderstorms to the Dallas/Fort Worth area last night, with up to two inches of welcome rain falling in isolated areas. However, the rains missed the areas of Texas where the worst fires area burning, and strong winds associated with the spring storm helped whip up the fires. Winds will not be as strong today, and the latest 1 - 5 day rainfall forecasts show the possibility of isolated thunderstorms bringing drought relief to the same portions of Texas that benefited from last night's rains. These rains will not be enough to significantly slow down the record fires scorching Texas, though, and the latest 2-week forecast from the GFS model shows little chance of drought-busting rains over Texas into early May.


Figure 2. Total rainfall for North Texas from last night's storms brought only isolated drought relief.

Atlantic tropical disturbance
As a reminder that hurricane season is not that far away, an area of disturbed weather has formed in the Atlantic near 23N, 80W, about 700 miles northeast of Puerto Rico. This system is under a hefty 60 knots of wind shear, but does have a surface circulation. The disturbance's heavy thunderstorm activity has been removed well to the northeast of the surface circulation center by the high wind shear. The storm is expected to move northwest into a region of lower wind shear on Thursday and Friday, and should begin building more heavy thunderstorms during the next three days. The storm is not a threat to any land areas, and will likely be ripped apart by high wind shear this weekend. It has perhaps a 10% chance of becoming a subtropical depression before then. Climatology argues against this storm becoming the first named storm of the year; there has only been once named April storm in the Atlantic since 1851, Tropical Storm Ana of 2003.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of the Atlantic tropical disturbance 700 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

Jeff Masters

Wildcat Fire (AngeloJoe)
Wildcat Fire near San Angelo, Texas. Pictures taken between 3 and 4 pm just to the south and east of Orient, Texas.
Wildcat Fire
April Showers (novembergale)
SNOW showers!
April Showers

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THE 2011 LIST OF ATLANTIC STORM NAMES (

Arlene
Bret
Cindy
Don (replaces Dennis)
Emily
Franklin
Gert
Harvey
Irene
Jose
Katia (replaces Katrina)
Lee
Maria
Nate
Ophelia
Philippe
Rina (replaces Rita)
Sean (replaces Stan)
Tammy
Vince
Whitney (replaces Wilma)
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Dang, NRL site is still down :(


Now for some days down:

NRL Monterey web pages and data are currently inaccessible due to a technical outage. This home page will be update as information becomes available.
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Dang, NRL site is still down :(
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Quoting TomTaylor:
In other news, this whole Arlene in April possibility is pretty cool. Id love to see it get named, but I believe its got a bit of developing to do.


Ya it does, but given the time of year, how much development will be enough to get the NHC to name it is anybody's guess, so we'll see.
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Quoting Levi32:
The upper low is lurking just off to the northwest, indicating the potential for conditions over the surface center to improve tomorrow
The global models certainly support that theory.
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In other news, this whole Arlene in April possibility is pretty cool. Id love to see it get named, but I believe its got a bit of developing to do.
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Circulation center still naked with the surrounding convection obviously sheared. The upper low is lurking just off to the northwest, indicating the potential for conditions over the surface center to improve tomorrow, but for now the system remains disorganized overall.

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Quoting WaterWitch11:
first invest april 20th? warm waters this year.


Second, actually. We briefly had 90L near the Canary Islands last month.
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000
AXNT20 KNHC 202350
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
805 PM EDT WED APR 20 2011

ATLANTIC OCEAN...
ACROSS THE W ATLC...A 1010 MB LOW IS CENTERED NEAR 23N61W WITH A
SURFACE TROUGH EXTENDING NE FROM THE LOW TO 26N56W. SATELLITE
IMAGERY CONTINUES TO INDICATE THAT UPPER LEVEL SHEAR IS
AFFECTING THE ABILITY OF THE LOW TO GATHER ANY CONVECTIVE
ORGANIZATION THIS EVENING. THIS IS PRIMARILY DUE TO AN UPPER
LEVEL LOW CENTERED TO THE NW OF THE SURFACE LOW NEAR 28N66W
WHICH IS PROVIDING FOR A RATHER LARGE AREA OF MIDDLE TO UPPER
LEVEL DIFFLUENCE EAST OF THE UPPER LEVEL LOW.
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Quoting hcubed:


Well, here's some more material he won't want to read, either:

U.S. CO2 levels saw large decline in 2009

"...Total U.S. anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 were 5.8 percent below the 2008 total...

...The decline in total emissions - from 6,983 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2008 to 6,576 MMTCO2e in 2009 - was the largest since emissions have been tracked over the 1990-2009 time frame..."

Their data shows that:

1. U.S. CO2 emissions in 2009 were the lowest since 1995.

2. The trend in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions has been downward since 1999.

Yet the global temperatures are increasing rapidly.

Here's the report from the EIA (Energy Information Administration):

Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2009


Three things are TERRIBLY wrong with your argument here:

1. Why would you correlate us co2 with global temperatures, you should be comparing global co2 output.

2. It's climate change (30 yr averages), not yearly change. Get a clue.

3. Co2 is not the only thing which governs our global temperatures. And is FAR FROM IT.



You deniers have been complaining on this entry that Nea won't read your posts. Well I just did, and I can see exactly why he doesn't. Your posts are littered with logical fallacies. Most feeble argument I've ever seen
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Quoting Drakoen:


I'm not the only one who can see you are wrong. Doesn't take a degree in Meteorology or English to see that.


I don't know who in here disagrees with me or not, but that certainly doesn't strengthen your argument in any way, does it?

I know you like the status quo. I don't like some aspects of it. There's nothing wrong with that.
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we went to ships island in mississippi a couple of weeks ago. the park ranger said he had been wearing shorts since february. first invest april 20th? warm waters this year.
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Quoting Levi32:


I said there aren't any in the written criteria....I wish the NHC would rid themselves of the hidden subjective criteria that are not in the written definitions. It is obvious that they exist, because the NHC often takes actions or inactions that are inconsistent with the official writing. I think it is you who are now twisting.


I'm not the only one who can see you are wrong. Doesn't take a degree in Meteorology or English to see that. I rest my case.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30250
Massive outflow boundaries over Texas....Link
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Quoting Drakoen:


But you said that there isn't because you said that here is not statement on the level of organization lol. What I just proved to you was that there was an implication. Please stop trying to twist things with doublespeak of perhaps your weakest argument on here yet.

Not that you haven't made strong ones. Of course. lol.


I said there aren't any in the written criteria....I wish the NHC would rid themselves of the hidden subjective criteria that are not in the written definitions. It is obvious that they exist, because the NHC often takes actions or inactions that are inconsistent with the official writing. I think it is you who are now twisting.
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Quoting Grothar:


Not to interject into a private dialogue, but isn't the warming in a subtropical system suppose to occur in the troposphere?


Yes. If you are referring to the AMSU diagram, that entire crossection is the troposphere. However, the warming we want to see would be in the more shallow layers, not way up at 100mb in this case.
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725. Skyepony (Mod)
Canada~ Fire crews at Wood Buffalo National Park were surprised to see an 8,000-hectare man-made fire so early this spring at the northern Alberta park. The grass fire, located about 40 kilometres west of Fort Chipewyan, Alta., near Hilda Lake, has been burning since Saturday — a month earlier than the park's previous record for spring fires, fire management officer Jean Morin said. "This time of year, we don't have fire crews and water is not available because everything is frozen," Morin said Wednesday. Morin, who flew over the fire zone on Wednesday afternoon, said he believes it will grow by an additional 5,000 hectares due to strong winds. "We saw a mix of burned area and snow and ice, which was quite interesting," he said. "When there wasn't any snow or a thick patch of willows, the fire was free-burning at a fairly fast rate." Morin said the blaze currently does not pose any threat to people or property, so the only thing fire crews can do is monitor it by helicopter. Eventually, the fire will likely be contained by rivers and deltas in the area, he added. Morin said the grass fire is believed to have started by somebody who did not properly extinguish a campfire. It started in an area of the park that is often used for human activities such as hunting, he said. "We certainly would warn people that are doing any kind of activity in the wilderness these days to make sure their fires are well extinguished because we are fairly limited with suppression capability," he said.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
724. Skyepony (Mod)
20/2345 UTC 23.2N 62.0W TOO WEAK 91L
20/1745 UTC 23.0N 60.8W ST1.5 91L
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Quoting pottery:
posts 718 and 719...
the amount of available moisture in the ITCZ is kind of worrying....
That area off Africa is not supposed to be there, for one thing.
Yes..There have been impressive areas of convection moving through the Gulf of Guinea. If that were to continue into the hurricane season, the Antilles and the Caribbean could see a lot of of storms...jmo..:)
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posts 718 and 719...
the amount of available moisture in the ITCZ is kind of worrying....
That area off Africa is not supposed to be there, for one thing.
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718. xcool


feed from ITCZ
very interesting
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Wouldn't the fact that the wind max is relatively close to the center and warmth in the upper levels support a fully tropical classification?
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Quoting Levi32:


Which does not necessarily imply that there are therefore no unsaid requirements for the level of organization. That isn't a contradiction.


But you said that there isn't because you said that here is not statement on the level of organization lol. What I just proved to you was that there was an implication. Please stop trying to twist things with doublespeak of perhaps your weakest argument on here yet.

Not that you haven't made strong ones. Of course. lol.
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Quoting Levi32:


Which does not necessarily imply that there are therefore no unsaid requirements for the level of organization. That isn't a contradiction.


Not to interject into a private dialogue, but isn't the warming in a subtropical system suppose to occur in the troposphere?
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I have just always thought the system of classification could use more abrupt guidelines. The confusion has only become worse over the last several years with the NHC's inconsistency in classifications using their criteria. Hopefully someday a better system will be devised.

I'm out, later all.
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Quoting Grothar:



He'll never catch me. That is why I am the only one on the blog who is really worried about Global warming predictions for 2200. I will be the only one on the blog still around.
True...You and FloodMan will be blogging from Mars as you sip wine and he twists ganj....
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FWIW, the 00z NAM does not raise 91L's core temps above 15C until 2pm Friday. 

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Quoting Drakoen:


And is not limited to just partially warm core.

That was an absolute contradiction compared to the official definition you posted which you thought had no implication contrasted to this in one of your posts:"By definition, subtropical cyclones typically have a very disorganized convective pattern."


Which does not necessarily imply that there are therefore no unsaid requirements for the level of organization. That isn't a contradiction.
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Quoting Levi32:


Well the statement "characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones" can be interpreted different ways. Most of the time that seems to mean partially warm-core.

And it was less of a contradiction and more of me answering my own question.



And is not limited to just partially warm core.

That was an absolute contradiction compared to the official definition you posted which you thought had no implication contrasted to this in one of your posts:"By definition, subtropical cyclones typically have a very disorganized convective pattern."
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30250
The circulation of 91L looks well-defined here (23 N, 62.5 W).  Needs more convection.


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Quoting hcubed:


Well, here's some more material he won't want to read, either:

U.S. CO2 levels saw large decline in 2009

"...Total U.S. anthropogenic (human-caused) greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 were 5.8 percent below the 2008 total...

...The decline in total emissions - from 6,983 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2008 to 6,576 MMTCO2e in 2009 - was the largest since emissions have been tracked over the 1990-2009 time frame..."

Their data shows that:

1. U.S. CO2 emissions in 2009 were the lowest since 1995.

2. The trend in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions has been downward since 1999.

Yet the global temperatures are increasing rapidly.

Here's the report from the EIA (Energy Information Administration):

Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the United States 2009


------------------------------------------------- ----

I'm not sure why you think Nea wouldn't want to read this. I'm pretty sure we can all agree that a drop in U.S. greenhouse gas output is a good thing.

Maybe I'm misreading your post, but you seem to be suggesting that a drop in U.S. emissions should lead to an immediate drop in global temperatures. But what about emissions from the rest of the world? Globally, emissions have continued to rise since 1999.




Clike here to see a graph showing that annual per-capita CO2 emissions continue to rise and, since we have more "capitas" now than we did in 1999, I think that also suggests more CO2 per year globally.

Still, it was news to me that U.S. emissions were down and I think it's good news even if...

"...the decrease in U.S. CO2 emissions in 2009 resulted primarily from three factors: an economy in recession, a particularly hard-hit energy-intensive industries sector, and a large drop in the price of natural gas that caused fuel switching away from coal to natural gas in the electric power sector."
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Spider Crater..
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Quoting Drakoen:


Read the first line of the definition you posted in your post 695. And you just contradicted yourself too.


Well the statement "characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones" can be interpreted different ways. Most of the time that seems to mean partially warm-core. Perhaps that is where the subjectivity comes in, but it would be better to have a more defined line for classifying these things, as it only gets more confusing due to the huge variety of subtropical entities that we can have.

And it was less of a contradiction and more of me answering my own question.

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703. 7544
gfdl and hwrf take 91l to over 50k at the end of the run hi EVRYONE AND XCOOL
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Quoting AussieStorm:

you mean this one?




Crater map
Yes. That one..... And this beauty..
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Quoting Levi32:


Then why do they state it in the definition of a tropical cyclone, but not in the definition of a subtropical one. By definition, subtropical cyclones typically have a very disorganized convective pattern.


Read the first line of the definition you posted in your post 695. And you just contradicted yourself too.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30250

Quoting Drakoen:


Was just about to post that lol. Interesting warmth in the upper levels.


With yourself and Levi in here, I figured someone would. lol 

91L has a decent amount of dry air worked into portions of its circulation. If it can shake that before Friday and develop some convection in the area, then there's a chance that this could become classified. 

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Quoting Drakoen:




That is because convective organization is implied and is subjective to the forecaster since each system is unique. Stating it would not clear up the ambiguity of convective organization.


Then why do they state it in the definition of a tropical cyclone, but not in the definition of a subtropical one. By definition, subtropical cyclones typically have a very disorganized convective pattern.
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Quoting hydrus:
You are the only man infinity actually fears....he he



He'll never catch me. That is why I am the only one on the blog who is really worried about Global warming predictions for 2200. I will be the only one on the blog still around.
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Quoting Levi32:


That is interesting, as although we wouldn't expect a significant warm-core signature with such a weak system, it might offer contradicting evidence against the models which say it is already warm-core.


That is because convective organization is implied and is subjective to the forecaster since each system is unique. Stating it would not clear up the ambiguity of convective organization.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
AMSU pass:




That is interesting, as although we wouldn't expect a significant warm-core signature with such a weak system, it might offer contradicting evidence against the models which say it is already warm-core.
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Here is the NHC's current definition. I don't know if I'm necessarily comfortable with these criteria, but using this as a guideline based on today's data, 91L is a subtropical cyclone.

"A non-frontal low pressure system that has characteristics of both tropical and extratropical cyclones. This system is typically an upper-level cold low with circulation extending to the surface layer and maximum sustained winds generally occurring at a radius of about 100 miles or more from the center. In comparison to tropical cyclones, such systems have a relatively broad zone of maximum winds that is located farther from the center, and typically have a less symmetric wind field and distribution of convection."
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
AMSU pass:




Was just about to post that lol. Interesting warmth in the upper levels.
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Quoting Drakoen:
91L does not deserve to be classified as a subtropical cyclone at the moment. It is lacking in convective organization. Simply because it has a closed surface circulation with convection around its vicinity does not mean it should be classified. I'm sure the NHC is waiting for more convective organization before they think about classifying it.


I could understand that if it was in their definition of a subtropical cyclone, which it is not. Everything about classifying tropical systems is about defined criteria.
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AMSU pass:


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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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